Wednesday 28 September 2011

Birthday Bonanza!

It's been a funny week.  Not much sewing with the machine (apart from making a fitted rip-stop nylon case for a large (1.6 metres long, by 40cm sort of wide) L shaped piece of foam.  It looks neat, will help prevent injury (we hope) if the girls land on the edge of the decking near the swing and is not in place because I am trying to quilt the garden by stealth (although that is an excellent idea - like yarn bombing but more private!).

I did manage a little hand sewing.  Unusually for me these days it was counted cross stitch - here are three unfinished items (!).  I had a plan for my girl friends to make needle cases in an evening of crafting and chatting.  They made lovely ones and I failed completely to photograph any of them.  Sorry - they were super and should have been shared!

They also turned the evening into an extended birthday celebration for me - the lovely things brought along cake (with candles), flowers and a lovely gift.  I am VERY lucky to have such wonderful friends who are so kind and generous.

I also had other brilliant birthday presents - these are handmade ones (the super bag by Benta, all sorts of fabric flowers and other bits by Avril, and the splendid lavender bag hand sewn by Alex, my niece, which is fab).  I also got a splendid range of books from my family members - quilts and coverlets at the Beamish Museum, books on drawing and painting, novels....... I was really spoiled!

I hardly know what to do next, with so many ideas!  I do know that I'll be going along to hear Jan Hassard talk at my quilting group on Monday evening, though.  If you can make it to near Kew Gardens on Monday evening, why don't you join me?

Monday 19 September 2011

Poppets and Puppets!

Benta gave the girls glove puppet kits.  They loved making them over the weekend, and I loved the quiet stitching that started on a visit to Nanny and Grandpa's and how carefully they worked on them.  Well done girls, and thank you, Benta!

I'm looking forward to a week of daily puppet shows and getting completely up to date with my scrapbooking (I'm up to April this year, so it's going well - I've filled three albums since last week and ordered another two so that I won't run out of space!).  I'm also hoping to manage a little stitching, after all, ballet classes start again this week, so I'll have some time then, so long as the girl not prancing is also occupied!

Tuesday 13 September 2011

A Good Monday!

Sewing?  After I said I was going to be scrapbooking instead?  Moi?  Well, OK, but only a 30 minute project from the Molly Makes magazine.  A simple wallet.  Fun (and quick!) to make.
Next time I make one I'd probably add a little coin purse to make it even more useful, but I can see my girls liking one each for their library cards and so on (and, in time, their Oyster card!).

So apart from this, why was Monday good?  Well, I the lovely Benta came to tea, and then we went off to meet other quilty friends at Richmond and Kew Quilters to hear Sara Impey speak and admire her spectacular quilts.  Quite the best quilt talk I've been to, and brilliant quilts using text, often set into grids.  Her love of language sang through, and her attention to detail - both layout and workmanship - were outstanding.  I came home not quite knowing whether to sell the sewing machine, fabric and thread and give up there and then, or whether to start trying to incorporate some of her techniques into what I do!

I am trying not to take the 'give up sewing forever' approach, as my good news (if you don't want to read a boast, look away now) is that I passed Module 1 of my C&G course.  Perhaps not amazing news to anyone else, but something that wasn't quite as frightening as I thought it might be to do, and which passing might encourage me to take the next step with it.  With distance learning (or at least, if you choose the right course) there is a lot of flexibility about how / when you complete modules, which would suit me and my variable energy levels well. It also means that I don't have to waste precious energy travelling to a class and interacting with other students (sounds terrible, doesn't it?  I'm not by nature anti-social, just have to be careful how I use the small reserves that I have) - I can just sit at home and digest course notes and get on with what is required.

This was my final design for the 'line' assignment - no textiles included, and lots that I'd change if I was making it again!

So, onwards and upwards, but first time to get on with that scrapbooking!

Hope you are having an equally good start to your week.

Thursday 8 September 2011

A New Term!

No, not back to school for me (although I'm thinking that I might need a quick lesson on how to get Blogger back to how it was - it's gone all big and I don't know why), but for my DDs, so I'm hoping to have more sewing and crafting time again.  I think that I need a major time 'spend' on scrapbooking.  It has been pointed out to me (by the aforementioned DDs) that I am a long way behind, and that I should catch up.  I agree.  I should catch up, and I think that means staying away from machine sewing for a while so that I can do that.  Obviously small hand sewing projects (in front of the TV in the evenings when my hands are up to it) won't be affected!

In the meantime, I can now show you this

a book cover made for Alex from the scraps of the fabrics left over after block trimming from her camp blanket.  I couldn't show it before as it was one of her birthday presents,and I didn't want to spoil the surprise.  Many thanks to SweetiePie50 who I think made something similar and showed it....although I can't find the post that I was looking for. I do know that she made a lovely bag using fabric strips recently!

I've also done some more work on my C&G module and have produced this non-textile piece.  So many things that I'd change if I was doing again!

Finally, in case you can make it to South West London next Monday evening, Sara Impey will be giving a talk called " Quilts, Texture and Talk" . Starts at 7.30pm, in St Winefride's Church, Kew. Visitors £6
Why not start your autumn with this? I'm really looking forward to it.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Brilliant Camp Blanket!

Isn't this fabulous?  Alex (one of my lovely nieces) came over to borrow my sewing machine this week to finish her camp blanket which she'd started earlier in the summer.  A selection of FQ's, and a little extra from my stash to add panels for her Guide badges to be sewn onto.  Super patchwork backed by fleece to make a cosy blanket that will keep her warm on camp fire nights.  Well done Alex, you have made something both beautiful and functional!

No need to show my sewing (and to be honest, sewing name labels into school uniforms and minor repairs to clothing isn't really creative - and I've only done a little more than this this week)......